Restorative Justice Institute of Maine



The Restorative Justice Institute of Maineis a statewide 501c3 organization that was founded in 2011 to help transform our state’s punitive culture to one of healing for those who are harmed or cause harm. Using restorative principles and practices, RJIM works with the justice system, as well as communities, schools and other agencies and organizations throughout the state to rebuild broken relationships and to offer second chances for everyone affected by the harm. As a successful international movement in which offenders take responsibility for their behavior and victims’ needs are addressed, restorative justice has demonstrated that incarceration, recidivism and wrongdoing can be reduced, shattered relationships can be restored, and communities and organizations can become safer. We currently have three distinct program areas that engage people throughout the state:  1. Our Community Justice Collaboratives are multi-disciplinary groups made up of individuals who have a shared interest in expanding access to restorative practices for youth in their community. Through the Community Justice Collaboratives, people convene across systems on a regular basis to learn about restorative justice, and consider the ways it can be implemented in the community, from prevention, to intervention to reintegration.  2. The Restorative Response Network is a series of restorative diversion programs that provide an array of restorative processes to youth who have committed an act of wrongdoing that is a chargeable offense.   RJIM partners with communities through local Community Justice Collaboratives (CJCs) to implement this network of programs. Rather than building these program from scratch in every community, RJIM brings with us the infrastructure and program “shell†and works with CJCs to customize each community’s local programming based on the unique needs and resources that are available.  3. Just Conversations is a series of events that advance the use of restorative practices that heal, restore and transform individuals and communities. We need to find ways to address harm in different ways.  We believe the way to begin to do this is through discourse; by engaging voices beyond the “usual suspects†in deep conversation about justice and subsequently, identifying ways to empower these individuals to get involved in the restorative justice movement.  We consider ourselves a catalyst organization; rather than building a large infrastructure to do programming, we are intentionally organized to be small and lean. We focus on increasing the capacity of those invested in social change; therefore, our strategy includes individuals and locally organized groups in each of the communities we organize. We develop leadership by identifying individuals and organizations with like missions; assessing opportunity and need; mobilizing and allocating resources; and, creating training, coaching and ongoing support systems to build and sustain leaders in communities across the state.Â
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